Audiobooks: Yay or Nay?

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I’ve been toying with the idea of audiobooks. I produce both print and eBook for my readers already, because those are the most commonly used forms. Just because I’m personally all about eBooks doesn’t mean I ignore the print fiends. (You’re fuddy duddies, but I say that with love.)

BUT. I’ve never been one for audiobooks, which means I’ve never even considered them until now. They are (apparently) very easy to organise, it’s just a question of whether I want to bother spending the energy.

What say you? Do you use audiobooks? Should I publish in audio as well as print and eBook? Or maybe only bother when the entire trilogy is out? Let me know what you think!

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39 thoughts on “Audiobooks: Yay or Nay?

  1. I like reading while I’m relaxing, so I want a book that I read with my eyes. But, not so long ago, I had no time: married, with kids, full-time job, and graduate school. So, audio books were a blessing. A bit of a listen while driving, showering, heating dinner (I can’t say I cooked during that time, either!). Guess it depends on your audience. Can’t hurt to try it, see how it goes, then continue, or not.

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  2. I have just begun to listen to audiobooks from my local library and, like others, I am particular about the narrator. If I find one I can tolerate then I’m all for it. I have found that I can get my “read on” while doing the dishes or driving around waiting on each kid to get finished with whatever they have to do. (I feel like I spend 3/4 of my day in a car…) I would love to see authors that put their book up as ARC’s or reader reviews to try offering audio versions.

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    1. I think there’s going to be far more audiobooks within the next couple of years. It’s been neglected until now because it was too difficult, but now you can even audition different narrators and get it done to quite a high quality! Definitely keen to get into audio pretty soon.

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  3. I don’t listen to many audiobooks, but when I do I find them very relaxing. Honestly, I only buy them if I’m familiar with/like the narrator’s voice. I mean, have you ever heard Richard Armitage speak?

    I also adore Agatha Christie’s Poirot stories in audiobook form because David Suchet, the actor who is perhaps the most famous Poirot, reads them. In short, I buy audiobooks for the voice but not for the story. I just love holding a book in my hands too much, and I feel like I might miss something if I tune out for a bit while listening to the story.

    That said, I know a lot of busy people who love audiobooks and go through them much quicker than they ever would a traditional book or ebook. I definitely think it’s something to look into.

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  4. Go for it, Libby!
    I have been mainstreamed published and am about to go “indie” any day now. I’m up to my ears in promoting but as soon as I’ve got my e-book on Kindle I will be looking into audio.
    I’ve never listened to a book on audio but I will. I think it’s a great idea. In fact, I wish I’d had one on my holidays this year. I took my Kindle on the beach but I was so busy looking at the screen I missed all the handsome hunks dashing about on the sand. Now, with audio, I can read AND eye up the talent!

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  5. I love audiobooks. They are wonderful to listen to while I’m gardening or doing things around the house. I, personally, can’t listen to them while I’m doing things that require a lot of attention….not enough brain cells, I suppose! The difference between a really good audiobook and one that I’ll not even make it through a few minutes of are huge. A strong narrator is HUGE. Huge! I especially love the ones that can do different character “voices” in such a way that it allows you to enjoy the story more fully. Sound quality is another aspect that I wish got more attention. I won’t listen to a “hollow” sounding audio, or one that I have to strain to hear properly. Right now, I’m listening to a book that I think is likely one of the most well done of all I’ve listened to – “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”. It’s not light subject matter but, I have to say, it is, by far, one of the easiest books to listen to that I’ve encountered. So well done. If an audiobook puts your talents out to even a nominal number of readers, I think you should go for it. Good lucky, Libby!

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  6. I am totally addicted to audiobooks! I have listened to 53 since early March, and I am listening to two right now (Drama Queen by Joe Cosentino and Seveneves by Neal Stephenson).

    If you decide to go ahead with putting your own work out as audiobooks by all means make sure you get the right narrator. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they quit listening to a book or series because the narrator ruined it for them. In the books I have listened to this year I have heard some amazing narrators and some horrendous ones.

    Good luck whatever you decide!

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    1. 53 is a highly impressive number, I’ll bet you’ve ticked off some wonderful stories that way! I sometimes have to do some long drives so I’m thinking I’ll grab some audiobooks, listen to them then, and familiarise myself with the common mistakes.

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  7. I absolutely love audio books! I have an hour’s commute to and from work so listening to a book while I’m driving really helps pass the time. I prefer to listen to books that are part of a series so that I can commit to the series across a few months. The narrator is crucial – I adored Stephen Fry’s narration of the Harry Potter series but listening to Roy Dotrice reading the Game of Thrones books was rather hard work…! If you can find someone who you feel really captures the voice of your story, then making an audiobook is a great idea.

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  8. Some people just don’t have time to read books but are able to listen to audiobooks while working. My mom does it and I did it on my last job. It was great that I was able to still keep up on my favorite genres. The only downside is that they’re really expensive, but totally worth making them for those who need them.

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  9. I say yes! I’ve only gotten into audiobooks in the last few years, but now I can’t drive or exercise without them! And I have friends who do almost all of their reading via audiobook, so I’d guess that you’d be adding to your readership by having them available for your books. I’ll just echo what others have said, which is that a good narrator makes all the difference. Good luck!

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  10. I wasn’t keen on audiobooks a while ago either, but I’d never heard one! A while ago my fiancee got a free try to audible and she got a book for free, she chose Amy Poehler’s ‘Yes Please!’ and we actually sit there and listen together, I’ll be on my laptop and she’ll be on xbox, and we play the book in the background. It is absolutely baffling that an audio book can turn a usual solitary event, reading, into a group activity. But it’s a definite yes from me, give it a go! And get a free trial to audible to try it out. Morgan was in a similar position to you, check out her post on it here: https://rosemills.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/yes-please-by-amy-poehler/ 😀

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      1. I know it was so weird reading your post, I had to double and triple check that it wasn’t actually An old post by Morgan, because she went through the exact same feelings.

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    1. The easiest way (if you’re indie) is through ACX, which unfortunately is only open to the U.S. and U.K. for now. You can get some really good talent through there though! Otherwise it’s a bit of a rigmarole, so I’m assessing options at the moment. Might hit pause for now and hope ACX continues opening up its markets.

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  11. I was like you, but decided to give audio books a try. I love it, because I liked to read everywhere I go, and this lets me ‘read’ in the car while driving! However, be very, very choosy. Make sure you (if using audible) sample the story first, to make sure you like the narrator. A bad narrator can RUIN a book -.- Trust me, I know. There are some great ones out there. I’d highly recommend the Audible version of The Martian as narrated by RC Bray for your first foray into Audio Books.

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      1. Good to know it wasn’t just me!

        I’ve got an interesting narrator I’m listening to at the moment. Johnnie C. Hayes. He really can’t do voices, but… he sounds like my grampa reading me a story, so I love to listen to him. However, I can’t imagine ever listening to another book narrated by him. Its charming once. Twice would be annoying, I think.

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  12. Never listened to an audio book in my life. I’m afraid I’ll fall asleep listening to it and I like to hear the characters in my own head. But there’s a market for it, so your book will only benefit from it. Just my 2 cents.

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  13. I usually don’t bother because they are crazy long but if I love the book and it’s a definite ‘re read kinda book I’ll buy the audio. I have deacon by kA and I love it. So maybe on the ones you love throw in the audio review as well.

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      1. It’s really not expensive at all. Well, if you do what I do and get your audio books from the library. The Los Angeles County Libraries have this program on overdrive where people can check out audio and e-book online, and listen and read books in your own browser. Maybe see if it is possible to get your book into one of these programs.

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